Competition is all around us. It’s nature’s catalyst for growth, progress, and evolution. Each year, businesses self-reflect to see if they are playing the smart game – the game in which they can win, prosper and create further success-momentum. Most likely, the strategic and tactical decisions your company makes are rooted in some combination of the incentives of the stakeholders driving the short-term, the middle-term and long-term prospects of your business. Therefore, it’s entirely understandable why choosing an optimal business strategy is difficult. We already know the best companies are nimble and adapt as competitive market forces change.

The motivation for business transformation looms from the need to keep up with exponential technological innovation, changing customer trends, threat of new entrants, and/or regulatory pressures. Unfortunately, Research at McKinsey has found that approximately 70% of transformation programs don’t reach their goals.

So, as your business units and executive teams take a moment to think about the game you want to play in this next year and beyond, here are a few areas of caution to consider as you commit your focus, your resources, and most importantly, your time.

1. Fail to Rapid Prototype, Test, and Course-Correct

Yes, business transformation is a buzz word. It is not one event or action that results in a new way of operating, of being. It is a series of specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely (SMART) actions across a multivariate set of factors that ultimately influence the broader dynamic set of processes, tools, and resources that coalesce into something meaningful.

The best leaders of business transformation are able to understand the complex patterns of inputs and visualize the processes that achieve desired outputs. Being good takes time, experience, and lots and lots of failure. Failure is a great competitive force, as long as lessons are learned, embedded into the organizations, and acted upon in fruitful way. Failing is success! The true answers on how to succeed come from the actual experiences of failure, as each business fails differently, in different micro and macro environments. By reading up on patterns of previous failures, you will have some insight on how to course-correct effectively, so that you don’t make the same mistakes as businesses have in the past.

For 2019, see if you can set up more test and learn projects. As long as you time-box their results, and don’t over invest if there’s no traction, take it as a great opportunity to fail – to learn. There are countless companies out there that will prototype ideas for you at a reasonable cost and have your best interests in mind. The more of these Proof-of-Concepts you do, the higher the chances your company will have towards meeting your business transformation goals.

To read more about the 6 other Failures to Avoid in Business Transformation for 2019, click here.


About the Author


Boris is the Founder & Product Manager at Concept Key. Concept Key helps business and product leaders deeply understand how to convert market needs into strategy, strategy into incremental delivery, and delivery into continuous learning and improvement. Focusing on Consumer Products, Telecommunications, Internet of Things (IoT), FinTech, and Real Estate companies, they combine human-centric design frameworks with agile product delivery to manifest the concepts that are key to adding measurable value to customers.

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